An American tragedy, Volume 2705
World Pub. Co.
, 1926 - Fiction
- 874 pages
Taking as his point of departure a notorious murder case of 1910, [the author] immersed himself in the social background of the crime to produce a book that is both a ... work of reportage and a monumental study of character. [This novel tracks] the process by which an ordinary young man becomes capable of committing a ruthless murder, and the further process by which social and political forces come into play after his arrest. In Clyde Griffiths, the impoverished, restless offspring of a family of street preachers, [the author] created [a] portrait of a man whose circumstances and dreams of self-betterment conspire to pull him toward an act of unforgivable violence. Around Clyde, [the author] builds [a] detailed fictional portrait of early twentieth-century America, its religious and sexual hypocrisies, its economic pressures, its political corruption.-Dust jacket.